Why Your DVR Hates the Last Few Seconds of Shows So Much

There's nothing quite like missing the very last seconds of that show you so painstakingly DVRed. Especially if that show is a live sporting event, and you explicitly told the damned box to keep going for an hour or two afterwards. It shouldn't have to be that way, though. And as Slate explains, there's a better world of perfect recording just across the pond.

The problem isn't quite that your DVR is stupid, but rather that it's being fed bad information. Standard American DVRs only know what's on by looking at on-screen programming guides, which are put out and updated by some third-party, not the people who are actually running the shows. And when those guides switch out just a second too early, you're screwed. It's a wildy inaccurate system.

It's different in Europe. Slate explains:

[Broadcasters supply] what’s called “present and following” information—that is, the identity of the program that’s airing right now and the one that’s scheduled to air next. Even if a program (like, say, a sporting event) is supposed to end at 10:30 p.m., the broadcaster will not change that present and following data until the game is actually over.

And why don't we have that here? It's less a technical reason and just that no one is really asking for it. Come on, guys. You can read more about the ins and outs of the problem over at Slate. And sure, it'd be nice to just go all digital, all on-demand streams. But in the meantime, this is a good thing to fix. [Slate]

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